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Medford Police Stepping Up Patrols

By Sharon Ko

MEDFORD, Ore. — Officers are making rounds in Medford to crack down on impaired drivers.

Every year, hundreds of fatalities occur on the Fourth from alcohol-related crashes, making the Fourth of July the deadliest holiday. So, Medford police, and all other law enforcement agencies, are stepping up patrols to catch intoxicated drivers.

Medford Police Officer Quint Oller is one of many law enforcement officers out on the Fourth. On the Fourth of July, police are on the look-out for not only impaired drivers, but also other problems related to alcohol. Officer Oller helped settle a dispute between a few transients; he says the fight was most likely related to alcohol.

Medford Police say, as they keep a close eye on the streets, they will have zero tolerance for drunk drivers. In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in impaired-driving crashes – that’s one alcohol-related fatality every 51 minutes. Police see more crashes like that spike during the Fourth as the night goes on.

Police say they see the highest number of fatalities occur among 18 to 34-year-olds in alcohol-related crashes. Last year, there were no fatal crashes in Medford, but police arrested one person for a DUI.